Using Evernote for Scouting Notes

A lot of people have asked me throughout the years how I use Evernote for my scouting notes. Evernote is a cloud-based note-taking and document-aggregating app that works on both mobile and desktop platforms. That means that if you ever lose your iPhone or laptop, you can simply log in to another web-connected device and voila, there are your notes!

Here is the process of note-taking I developed, and have been honing:

At start of a job, in my case these days a commercial, I create a Notebook for that job. The name of that Notebook is predicated on my start date on the job, then the client name followed by the production company name. So for example a Samsung commercial I did last year for the production company Stink was named: “150523 Samsung Stink”. I write it out as a two-digit year, then two-digit month, and finally the two-digit day. This way all my Notebooks are kept in alphabetical order in the sequence I worked on them for.

Screen Shot 2016-02-24 at 12.12.06 PM

Here are some of the Notebooks I created to keep notes organized 

Within the job’s Notebook I’ll create a “General Note” with all the company’s info: address, phone number, website and job number. I’ll also add the pertinent info that will eventually go on the permit, like Director, Producer, Production Manager, etc.

After that I create a “Scouting Notes” note inside the same Notebook. Here is where I write what I am scouting for and then create a date followed by all the notes for the day. Based on the research I gather; phone numbers, addresses, email addresses, and the date I’ve called and left messages with anyone. It all goes in here.

What’s great about Evernote is that any address, phone, email or website you input will instantly create a link. That way you can tap to call, email or see a webpage.

As the book-end for my scouting photos of each location, I take a shot of my iPhone’s screen showing the contact info for that location. That way the info is also stored with my images.

Then, once locations are locked, I create a separate note per location. That way all my parking, catering area, neighbors info, etc gets stored into one note.

Another great feature of Evernote is its strong search capabilities. Since I started using the service in 2010 I’ve been able to look back on notes/locations for pertinent info when I need again.

Do you use Evernote to keep organized? How are some of the ways you use Evernote? Leave a comment below.



How to Download All Images From A Webpage

As a Location Scout in 2016 an important part of scouting is actually sifting through tons of location service websites to find the right place. Some of these websites have handy download buttons, but not all.

For those sites that don’t, I found a Google Chrome Browser Extension that downloads all images on a webpage with the click on a button!

It’s called Image Collector Extension and it can be found in the link here.

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 12.26.10 PM
If you know of any browser extensions/plugins that do the same, please share below!

Making sense of your life with the Sunrise Calendar app

The one constant I’ve had throughout the years in my digital workflow is using Google Calendar for scheduling my scouts, meetings, Tech Scouts, production shoots, etc. And now I just started using Sunrise Calendar on my iPhone which brings about a whole new way to visualize, create, edit and aggregate several different services into one calendar.

The calendar’s default view is Agenda View, whereby you see all of the day’s events from earliest at the top to latest at the bottom. It even includes a little weather icon with temperature for morning, afternoon and evening.

The greatest feature for me is the ability to choose which navigation app can launch when you tap the address of an event. You can pick between Apple Maps, Google Maps and Waze. I choose the latter since I’ve been a Wazer for almost 5 years and love it.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 8.29.27 AM

Best of all: the app is absolutely free.

Download it here for iOS.

Download it here for Android.

What is the TMZ?

A lot of people think that TMZ is just a channel or show when in fact it’s an acronym for Thirty Mile Zone. This comes from the movie studios in Hollywood getting together with the labor unions to define a 30-mile zone with an epicenter at the corner of Beverly Blvd and La Cienega Bl – where the offices for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers used to be. Any production work done outside this zone is considered a “long-distance location”.

As a Location Scout working in Los Angeles it’s important to always check that a location lies within this zone. And the best way to do that is with Film LA’s handy tool:

Zone Map

Zone Map

For more info on the TMZ of here.

A Lightroom at the end of the tunnel

Wow, what-a-LAME-title!

In the business of Location Scouting one deals with hundreds of images a day. I average around 500 pictures per day, of physically scouted locations (not file pulls). That number might not seem like a lot, but when you’re dealing with strict deadlines in the post-Information Age of “we want pics yesterday, Snapchat-style”, suddenly juggling all those pics, from capture to upload, within a 12-hour period becomes intense.

Enter Adobe’s Lightroom (or its full name, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom). Here is a program that has a VERY steep learning curve, but in the end will save a Scout LOADS of time. This software, which has a nearly identical interface between Mac & PC, is all about making it easy to organize, rename, retouch, and export hundreds of images at a time. And for those inclined, it even includes a Map feature to add or adjust GPS coordinates saved in a photo’s metadata (the secret sauce code behind that beautiful picture you took).

If you have never tried Lightroom, or even if you are a steady user I highly recommend checking out the FREE tutorials on Adobe Lightroom’s YouTube Channel here.

Adobe offers Lightroom as a a single app subscription or as part of a bundle with Photoshop.